A simple Android app update checking tool
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Latest commit 0163f36 Mar 9, 2013 @xxv xxv Updates melautils


App Update Checker

A simple non-Market way to keep your app updated.

All it requires to set up is a URL pointing to a JSON document describing your app's changes.

It will compare its version code (from the manifest file) to the versions listed in the JSON. If there are newer version(s), it will provide the changelog between the installed version and the latest version. The updater checks against the versionCode, but displays the versionName.

While you can create your own OnAppUpdateListener to listen for new updates, OnUpdateDialog is a handy implementation that displays a Dialog with a bulleted list and a button to do the upgrade.

The JSON format looks like this:

    "package": {
        "downloadUrl": "http://coolapp.example.com/myapp.apk"

    "0.2": {
    "versionCode": 2,
    "changelog": ["New automatic update checker", "Improved template interactions"]
    "0.1": {
    "versionCode": 1,
    "changelog": ["fixed crash"]

Publishing steps

  1. point the app updater to a URL you control (in the strings.xml file)
  2. upload apk to server
  3. generate the json document that the app updater looks at which contains information about the release. There's a python script that can generate such documents in the app updater's source.
  4. publish the json document at the URL in step 1
  5. every time the app starts, it'll check to see if there's an update to that json file. It has a backoff threshhold that's set compile time for the app updater so it won't check it if it already checked it within N minutes.


Copyright (C) 2011 MIT Mobile Experience Lab

This library is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU Lesser General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2.1 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This library is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU Lesser General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU Lesser General Public License along with this library; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 51 Franklin Street, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 02110-1301 USA